LEO SANTA CRUZ believes he and Abner Mares could end up fighting a trilogy of bouts with each other as he prepares for their much-anticipated clash on August 29.
The unbeaten California-based Mexican has won world titles at bantam and super-bantamweight while Mares has done the same, as well as picking one up at featherweight.
The pair will meet at featherweight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, near where both men are based in Southern California, and Santa Cruz expects an exciting night.
“This is the toughest fighter I’ve faced. A fight against him will be the biggest of my career. Even bigger than my first title. Mares has a bigger name, everything is bigger,” he said.
“With two Mexicans fighting, it’s always a war. There have been a lot of great battles like that in the past and I think this will be too. We could end up with a trilogy of fights.
“We both have our fan base in Los Angeles and this fight will determine who is the king and who gets all the fans.”
A fight between the two has long been clamoured for by fans and boxing experts alike and both have been criticised for facing unheralded opposition in recent fights.
Santa Cruz, 27, insists he has wanted to fight Mares for years and is relishing the opportunity to stake his claim as one of the best in the world.
“I’m very determined to win this fight. It’s the biggest fight of my career. I have a lot to lose I have a lot to prove. I want to prove to all of the fans that I deserve to be on this level. A win against Mares will put me on the level to get more big fights,” he noted.
“I wanted this fight three years ago and they said I wasn’t on Mares’ level. I said I was going to work hard to get on that level so one day we can make it happen and here we are.
“I have been in other big fights and I’m doing everything to prepare for my audience and fans. They respect our team and they are the reason why we are doing this fight. I’m going to continue to fight for my fans and I’m going to do it until I’m the best in the sport.”